It's fitting that an ancient form of opera and magic called biànliǎn (face-changing) originated here, for Sìchuān (四川) is a land of many guises.
Capital Chéngdū shows a modern face, but just beyond its bustling ring roads you'll find a more traditional landscape of mist-shrouded, sacred mountains, and a countryside scattered with ancient villages and cliffs of carved Buddhas. Central Sìchuān is also home to the giant panda, the most famous face in China.
To the north, the visage changes again into a fairyland of alpine valleys and blue-green lakes. Sìchuān’s Tibetan face appears as you venture west. This is Kham, one of the former Tibetan prefectures: a vast landscape of plateau grasslands and glacial mountains where Tibetan culture still thrives and where you’re certain to have your most challenging, yet most magical, experiences.
Another view from the roof of the world: alternative Tibet in Sichuan
With epic mountain vistas, lively Buddhist monasteries, and grasslands peppered with yaks and alpine lakes as far as the eye can see, Tibet is, without a doubt, one of the most remarkable places to visit in the world...
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